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The Race Thru The Clouds opened on July 4, 1911 and was the first racing roller coaster on the West Coast. Its Venice precursor, The Merry Window Waltz, had moveable seats that gave the rider a waltzing effect. This coaster, however, was much faster and included many steep dips. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

The Race Thru The Clouds opened on July 4, 1911 and was the first racing roller coaster on the West Coast. Its Venice precursor, The Merry Window Waltz, had moveable seats that gave the rider a waltzing effect. This coaster, however, was much faster and included many steep dips. | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

Race Thru The Clouds roller coaster. Venice, CA.

Race Thru The Clouds roller coaster. Venice, CA.

Venice

Photo caption reads: The closed Midway Plaisance at Venice awaits the wrecking crew to make way for a roller coaster. LA Times Photo - April 1911

Photo caption reads: The closed Midway Plaisance at Venice awaits the wrecking crew to make way for a roller coaster. LA Times Photo - April 1911

The bridge in the background is not the Coral Canal bridge, although it is similar - the canal directly behind the gondola is Lion Canal. If we could look further to the right, we would see Grand Canal, and over to the left, just outside of the shot is Coral Canal. The large building behind the man on the dock is the Antler Hotel, which is said to have housed a speakeasy in it's basement during prohibition.

The bridge in the background is not the Coral Canal bridge, although it is similar - the canal directly behind the gondola is Lion Canal. If we could look further to the right, we would see Grand Canal, and over to the left, just outside of the shot is Coral Canal. The large building behind the man on the dock is the Antler Hotel, which is said to have housed a speakeasy in it's basement during prohibition.

Seven waterways comprised The Venice of America canals, designed by conservationist Abbot Kinney. They opened to the public on July 4, 1905

Venice, California's history shows canals hidden under the pavement

Seven waterways comprised The Venice of America canals, designed by conservationist Abbot Kinney. They opened to the public on July 4, 1905

Though it was a popular residential and tourist spot, the canals began to get polluted in the 1920s due to the rise in the automobile and the poor circulation in the waterways

Venice, California's history shows canals hidden under the pavement

Though it was a popular residential and tourist spot, the canals began to get polluted in the 1920s due to the rise in the automobile and the poor circulation in the waterways

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